Commercial vehicle giant Ashok Leyland has launched its first light commercial vehicle (LCV) ‘Dost’ in Gujarat from Rajkot. The new LCV has been jointly developed by Ashok Leyland and the Nissan Motor Company.
“We are entering the Gujarat market from Rajkot for our new venture Dost that delivers Japanese Technology at an Indian cost. At present the company has two dealers in Gujarat at Surat and Rajkot. We will appoint three more dealers in the state in the coming days,” said Nitin Sheth, executive director, Ashok Leyland Ltd.
Ashok Leyland currently has 37 dealers in six states in India.“Right now we have not set any sales target for Gujarat as well as in India as we are just entering in this market. After six months we will draw up our sales targets while presently we are busy setting up our dealer network across India,” Sheth added.
According to Sheth, the LCV market in India is growing by 20 per cent every year. The overall demand of LCV in the country is 3.5 lakh and it will reach 5 lakhs within three years. Currently the truck and LCV market is running neck to neck in India but the way Indian LCV market is growing it is all set to capture around 80 per cent market.
Ashok Leyland will be manufacturing the LCV at its Chennai and Hosur units. The production capacity of LCV is about 55,000 units every year and the company will be expanding the unit. “We are expanding our production capacity. The new units will produce over 1 lakh vehicles every year. The Ashok Leyland and Nissan joint venture is aiming to invest Rs 2,500 crore in India and so far company has invested Rs 1,250 crore in it,” said Sheth. The company is also planning to produce small size buses, vans and trucks and will also launch 5 to 6 new models of buses and van.
Talking about the company's future plans Sheth said, “We also have plans to launch LPG and CNG models of Dost. Our team is working on it. While several offers have come to us for exports we are presently looking only at catering only to the Indian market.”